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April Again


ISSUE:  Winter 1998
When the big blue heron goes over
with a bit of twig in its beak
and lands on the sourgum tree,
the whole tree sways under his weight
just above where they stand talking.

Solitary as he seems, she says,
how does he ever find a mate?
Later they’ll ascend the bed again
and their cries will fly out the window:
horses will look up, hearing them

make light again of their collisions
with clumsier matter. Couple
by couple now, the little builders
are at it again: on golden wings
the flickers fling themselves headfirst

into a birch, scattering a creamy confetti
of woodchips and dust, and two chickadees
who won’t stop chattering
set up house in a knothole way up
in the tallest maple: they bear out

beakfuls of shredded wood and let it fly
like blossom: now all hearts bang away
like roofers’ hammers, as if to say
it will happen—the way a thunderstorm
comes on, you can see it, and will not stop

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